Saturday, February 16, 2013

Little Goat (Bread)

Location: 820 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607
Little Goat on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
Little Goat is a new type of restaurant to hit the city...  Half diner and half bakery.  People flock from all over the city and country to try the sister restaurant, The Girl and the Goat, and I assume the same will be said in a few months about Little Goat.  For this review, I am focusing on Little Goat Bread... the bakery side of the business.  Little Goat Bread opens early, serving coffee from its Ferrari red espresso machine.  They offer scones with the most unique ingredient combinations and also signature sandwiches made with house-made breads.  From a broccoli cheddar bread and apricot masala scones to her bagels with cinnamon cocoa butter, there is definitely something for everyone.  The atmosphere is very laid back in the bakery with plenty of space to walk around (when it is not crowded), a small store (where you can purchase marinades, coffee, shirts), and of course a bar just in case you need a quick drink.  The reason I could only give it 4 mile rating was mainly the cost.  Spending nearly $20 for lunch is a little overkill for a student's budget.  Yes, it may be way cheaper than Girl and the Goat but I think I was hoping for the similarly incredible food (which Little Goat definitely offers), but just a little lighter on my wallet.

(On the left, the Ferrari red espresso machine; On the right, the bakery in action)

What I Ate:

Tomato-Apple Soup

When walking into Little Goat, I was set on trying the goat chili until reading the other options on the menu.  The soup that stood out was the tomato-apple soup which is made from exactly what the menu item is called plus some seasoning of course.  Overall, the soup was good, very healthy tasting with minimal cream if any at all used.  However, the apple was non-existent... I think the tomato's acidity really cut the sweetness of the apple.  Calling it tomato soup would have been just fine, but I guess the apples is what draws everyone's attention.  The tomato-"apple" soup may be a disappointment for some, but I still enjoyed it, especially when dipping the house-made breads into it.

The Shrimp Sandwich

The shrimp sandwich lived up to all they hype it was receiving from other people's reviews/recommendations.  Served on their house-made potato bun, the shrimp sandwich was generously made with shrimp, a spicy mayo, cabbage, pickled peppers, avocado, onion cream cheese, and my favorite part... a masa chip.  The shrimp was served cold and had more of that shrimp salad sandwich feel to it.  It was lightly sautéed and then butterflied to help cover more sandwich area.  All of the condiments gave incredible flavors, especially that generously applied onion cream cheese.  The masa chip was a great touch, giving that crunch factor to the sandwich and also adding a complexity from whatever seasoning was on it.  I absolutely loved the sandwich and will recommend it to everyone... and honestly, the price on the sandwich seemed more reasonable than the price for soups.

Bacon and Gouda Bread

The bacon and gouda bread was the free sample they gave out as I waited.  It was a country style bread that I guess had gouda baked right in to it.  I could definitely see the huge chunks of bacon which gave a strong enough bacon flavor throughout.  It would probably make an awesome sandwich bread.  Definitely check this bread out.


Served from one of those Ferrari red espresso machines you only see on TV, I was excited to try their coffee.  The flavor of the Americano was amazing... very bold, yet had that slight sweetness come through at the end.  No bitterness like chain coffee shops.  It comes out a little too hot for drinking, but thats the best way to brew coffee.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Quick lunch? Definitely check out the bread side of the restaurant, rather than the sit down diner side. (a review of the diner side will be a later post)
- If I lived nearby or walked by Little Goat in the AMs, I would definitely stop here for my coffee rather than spending it at a chair coffee shop.

- Don't drive... parking is ridiculous on Randolph St. unless you valet park for dinner.  There are plenty of pay-at-the-box spots on nearby streets, but it is still difficult to find one of those metered spots.

How far would I walk for this food?

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